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UNFPA-SRH Programme Specialist-P3-Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Title:  SRH Programme Specialist Level: P3/P4 dependent on skills and context
Requesting Agency UNFPA Country:   Sri Lanka
Principal duty station and
% of time of any travel to other duty stations
 Colombo Security phase in country / duty station/s person will be required to work in  MODERATE (3)
What type of working arrangement is available now?
In-country international deployment: Yes
In-country telecommuting: No
Remote-based support from outside country acceptable: No
Some movement on the ground is permissible: Yes
Requested date of deployment ASAP Requested length of deployment (in months)  3 months
How will the assignment be funded:
Seeking funding
First request or extension:
First request
What type of emergency is the person to support? (Please select or highlight)
  1. COVID-19 response efforts
  2. Rapid onset emergency
  3. Protracted humanitarian emergency
  4. Combination. Specify:

Mission Specific Considerations during COVID-19

Remote-Based Deployments (if remote-based please only fill in this table)
Considerations for remote-based deployments
If the deployment is remote-based, is the country office set up to ensure ongoing communication / team integration and appropriate supervision with the deployee from afar? Please explain.  

Physical deployments (only fill out if you anticipate surge to physically deploy)
Pre-departure considerations for physical deployments
Does this duty station require candidates to have undertaken SSAFE training? If so, can the office provide training upon arrival?  
Are there any special/new, specific visa considerations that need to be considered?

No.  Visa on arrival post approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or online business visa accepted
What type of quarantining rules does the local government mandate at this stage upon arrival?
Be sure to include how long for, and possible locations the person will/should be quarantined. i.e. government mandated facilities or pre-approved hotels, et.c
No Quarantine for fully vaccinated individuals.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals require a negative PCR test result done prior to 72hrs of embarkation or a negative Rapid Antigen Test done prior to 48 hours of embarkation. 
C-19 testing and clearance
Does the Surge need to undertake any COVID-19 testing prior to arrival or upon arrival? Are there any other medical clearances or vaccines deployees need to undertake before travel to this country?
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals require a negative PCR test result done prior to 72hrs of embarkation or a negative Rapid Antigen Test done prior to 48 hours of embarkation. 
No other clearance or vaccines required.
Is there any equipment that the Surge should become equipped with prior to travel, e.g. PPE such as masks, gloves, sanitizer, etc?
No.  However any prescription medication should be brought along when traveling due to the current shortage of certain medication
Is there any other paperwork that the local government authorities require upon entry/re-entry into the country? Letter of Invitation from host country office and copy of note verbale (if issued)
On mission considerations (for physical deployments):
What type of accommodation is available for Surge deployees?
 Hotels, Guest Houses, Airbnb
Is the duty station on an R&R cycle and if so how often? Please provide any details that have changed because of COVID-19
 Not an R&R duty station
Medical Treatment
Are there any government restrictions or limitations that would adversely impact in-country medical treatment plans or medical evacuation?
What is the capacity of local facilities that can be used to treat and/or stabilize those affected by COVID-19? Private Hospitals available
Office arrangement for telecommuting
If the Surge needs to telecommute within the country, can the country office demonstrate that the deployee is realistically able to work in terms of remote connectivity, equipment, etc.?
Equipment will be provided for the purpose of telecommuting eg – data dongle, phone connection, laptop.
If the Surge is required to physically deploy, can the country office provide necessary equipment, e.g. masks, gloves, sanitizer?

Background Description of Emergency / Justification for Request

Sri Lanka is experiencing an acute economic crisis with an unsustainable level of public debt and low international reserves brought on by recent policy changes including large tax cuts and pandemic-induced setbacks. The effects of the economic crisis have created a humanitarian crisis with increasing economic, health, social and protection risks impacting the wellbeing of the people. The crisis has now evolved in a situation that severely affects women and girls in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence.

The CO has finalized the Humanitarian Response Strategy and Plan with a targeted reach of 2,114,750 women, girls and other vulnerable groups and a total budget of USD 10,725,500 required. USD 1,668,428.57 of the required funding has already been raised with a gap of USD 9,057,017.43 to be covered. The plan will be implemented in 15 districts wherein 10 districts will have integrated SRH and GBV response and 5 districts will have targeted response based on unique vulnerabilities. The plan has three objectives:
  • Ensure coordination and continuity of life-saving SRH information and services for women and girls 
  • Mitigate and respond to sexual and gender-based violence and strengthen GBV coordination
  • Protect and maintain economic resilience and dignity of women, girls and young people.
Overall COVID-19 Situation in country: There are a number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country causing deaths. The government has imposed certain travel restrictions and procedures in the country. The COVID-19 situation also changes day by day. The government strongly recommends having COVID-19 vaccines. Please follow the government guidelines and advisories at https://www.hpb.health.gov.lk/en/covid-19#healthCirculars. For travel advisory and restrictions, kindly visit: https://data.humdata.org/dataset/covid-19-global-travel-restrictions-and-airline-information. Other than COVID-19, it is advised to bring mosquito repellents and use mosquito nets as mitigation against dengue and other related diseases.

Security Situation Summary in country and main threats: Massive protests with occasional clashes with police continue in Sri Lanka. Gatherings at fuel stations and gas distribution points may erupt spontaneously and turn violent, not leaving time for bystanders to run away or react adequately. Hence, the risk of collateral damage cannot be ruled out. There are no restrictions on UN incoming missions in Sri Lanka, however, new staff and visitors must contact UNDSS and receive a country security briefing immediately on arrival.

Role Description: Under the overall supervision of the UNFPA CO Representative and/or Head of Office, and under the framework of the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP), the incumbent helps promote Sexual and Reproductive Health programming (SRH) and SRH services in crises and post-crises situations.  The incumbent also facilitates the procurement and distribution to the Last Mile  of emergency medical supplies and equipment; orients on SRH in emergency-related issues (including reproductive, maternal and new-born health, family planning information and services, STIs and HIV prevention, care and treatment, and care for survivors of violence). The incumbent also assists in establishing relevant partnerships with other humanitarian stakeholders, NGOs, donors and government counterparts.  When the situation stabilizes, the incumbent guides on the initial steps of establishing comprehensive SRH services.  


MISP Rollout and Programme Implementation:
  • Conduct/Lead rapid assessments of SRH needs of the affected population
  • Co-lead with national partners the RH technical working group under the Health Cluster that has been established for the response
  • Oversee (in collaboration with the Logistics/Procurement officer) procurement of emergency RH kits, equipment and medical supplies as well as dignity kits; develop a distribution plan to meet the needs of implementing partners and other identified NGOs/operational partners  for RH services, monitor distribution and ensure utilization reporting
  • Based on MISP projection and rapid assessment findings, implement the MISP (Minimum Initial Service Package) through RH working group,  implementing and operational partners
  • Oversee (with the M&E officer) the monitoring of MISP implementation
  • Explore other opportunities and entry points to deliver SRH services for specific, at-risk vulnerable groups affected by the crisis, e.g.: uniformed personnel, sex workers, ex-combatants, women associated with armed forces, persons with disabilities, etc.
  • Initiate and coordinate training sessions on SRH in emergencies (for health care providers, community services officers, security personnel, refugee/IDP population, host population, etc.).
  • Assist in developing/adapting protocols for selected areas in programme coordination (such as syndromic treatment       of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), referral for emergency obstetric care, midwifery, medical response to survivors of rape, counselling and family planning services, etc.).
  • Coach and support COs to strengthen the implementation of MISP – sexual and reproductive health priorities and to assess progress towards achievement with technical tools and approaches, and to accelerate implementation of activities funded through CERF and UNFPA Emergency Response Fund.
  • Provide inputs for SitReps and other communication products, as required.
  • Ensure an effective response that integrates SRH (including ASRH), GBV and data interventions.
  • Develop an exit strategy, which includes the transition to evidence-based, comprehensive SRH programmes.

  • Ensure SRH needs are addressed within the Health cluster (if cluster approach is activated in the emergency context) and within OCHA Situation Reports.
  • Maintain working relationship and share relevant information with UN Health Cluster
  • Liaise with UNHCR to provide SRH services and commodities (MH lifesaving medicines, contraceptives, male and female condoms under the existing UNHCR condom partnership, etc.) for IDP, refugee populations.
  • Establish strong linkages between existing SRH and GBV programmes with regard to the health sector response for survivors of sexual violence.

Monitoring and Evaluation:
  • Monitor SRH assistance provided by UNFPA through implementing partners to crisis affected populations, in particular IDPs/returnees, and ensure adequate SRH requirements are being met.
  • Conduct monitoring visits, and ensure a systematic approach for tracking coverage of targeted populations by UNFPA assistance in humanitarian settings.
  • Work closely with the UN partners, national counterparts (MOH), operations team and logistician regarding orders to be placed and maintenance of the SRH commodities and supplies of dignity kits
  • Prepare regular progress reports and document lessons learned and challenges and share with UNFPA regional offices, UNFPA Humanitarian Response Branch, and other units as may be necessary.

Capacity Development:
  • Provide coaching to newly recruited staff and consultants, where appropriate.
  • Coach and build capacity of staff members and staff of implementing partners responding to emergency/humanitarian crises, as needed.

Qualifications and Skills required:
  • Advanced university degree in Midwifery, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, or relevant Social Sciences.
  • 5 to 10 years of relevant experience in SRH program development and management, preferably in an emergency context, particularly implementing the MISP.
  • Field experience in complex emergencies, including humanitarian emergency response.
  • Demonstrated leadership and management experience within a multinational and multicultural environment.
  • Ability to develop and coordinate SRH programs that target refugees, IDPs/returnees and their host communities.
  • Proficiency in English is required.
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